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Orocobre ramps up battery grade lithium carbonate production

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(Kitco News) - Orocobre (ASX: ORE, TSX: ORL) reported Friday that production for the June 2021 quarter was 3,300 tonnes of lithium carbonate, a 31% increase compared to 2,511 tonnes produced a year ago.

The company said that approximately 66% of production was battery grade lithium carbonate which is a significant increase on the June 2020 quarter that was 21% battery grade lithium carbonate.

Sales of Olaroz lithium carbonate during the June 2021 quarter were 2,549 tonnes at US$8,476/tonne FOB, with pricing up 45% on the March 2021 quarter. Lithium prices received by Olaroz are now up more than 170% in the last nine months, the company said.

Inventory has increased during the June quarter due to COVID-19 related transport delays and the requirement to hold additional safety stock in Japan to guarantee delivery into the Prime Planet Energy and Solutions contract, Orocobre explained.

Orocobre is the newest brine based global lithium carbonate supplier in over twenty years through its flagship operation, the Olaroz lithium facility in Argentina. After seven years of planning, developing, construction and commissioning, the first sale of lithium carbonate from Olaroz occurred in late April 2015 and volumes have been increasing since that time.

Additionally, Orocobre owns a material JORC resource in the adjacent Cauchari Basin and Borax Argentina, an established boron minerals and refined chemicals producer. The company has commenced an expansion at Olaroz and construction of the Naraha lithium hydroxide plant in Japan.

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